Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays’ take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘cat

Animals Sense

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This morning we are headed to an outpatient surgery center for Cyndie’s shoulder repair. The plan is for an arthroscopic procedure to reattach ruptured tendons and clean up any tissue tears, and then clean up arthritis discovered in the MRI done to assess the injury.

The silver lining in this incident is that she hadn’t previously realized the extent of arthritic damage in that shoulder that was contributing to a chronic discomfort she had come to perceive as ‘normal.’

Welcome to the world of chronic Lyme disease outcomes. Sure, she was treated extensively with long-term antibiotics back when her symptoms mushroomed to a level of undeniable evidence, but it’s an imperfect science. Even more so back in the ’90s when she experienced it.

A vast majority of health insurance corporations and plenty of doctors closely associated would like her to swallow the company lines that she is completely cured. We tend to feel the wild litany of afflictions picking away at our sanity every year since that initial treatment are unsurprisingly identical to the long list of Lyme related symptoms listed in medical research reports.

Her debilitating arthritis is just a fraction of the issues she experiences, but at least modern medicine offers clear surgical options to repair or replace arthritic joints.

As frustrating as it is to be going through this routine again, we are at the same time grateful to have this opportunity. We intend to focus on the potential for less pain in that shoulder, and the return of function of her dominant right arm.

I want to know if she will be able to hoist bales of hay again. Hopefully, even better than before.

Our animals seem to recognize she is in a world of hurt since the arm was yanked. Cyndie reported that yesterday Legacy approached her and uncharacteristically, with his head down, ever so gently rubbed up and down her afflicted limb with his nose, as if in acknowledgement of her discomfort.

Pequenita, who generally reserves the majority of her affection for me, has switched allegiance and has been sleeping on Cyndie the last few nights. I spotted her on Sunday, all curled up in a ball with her head turned over, sleeping just below Cyndie’s pillow.

We are all mustering our best Cyndie care-taking energies to guide her through today’s procedure, and then on to recovery and rehabilitation. We’ve had some practice with this. I’m pretty sure we know what to do.

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Written by johnwhays

June 13, 2017 at 6:00 am

Resume Ranching

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It was a pleasing relief to return home to find our ranch-sitter, McKenna, hadn’t needed to deal with any missing chickens over the holiday weekend. Delilah needed a prompt from her to get up and greet us, but Pequenita practically molested me with affection when I walked in the bedroom.

Cyndie gave the horses a few moments of massage and in a flash we were back in Wintervale Ranch mode.

Once again, before departing for home, we dug up a few trillium plants to be transplanted into our woods.

In the past, we spread them out to several different areas, planting in groups of three. Most of those seem to be surviving, but not necessarily thriving. Yesterday, Cyndie agreed with my idea to put all nine of this year’s selection in one area, with the hope of establishing a little community of transplants.

In the two-and-a-half hour drive home, the plants took on a rather droopy appearance, but after getting them in the ground and adding a little water, they showed signs of perking up a bit.

After work today, I’m hoping to connect with a neighbor who might be able to provide a loaner lawn tractor so I can get grass cut at least one time while awaiting news on the status of our machine.

I stopped by the shop where we took the mower last week, hoping to find out if they had looked at it yet. They hadn’t. I pleaded with the man behind to counter to sneak in a preliminary analysis for me, so I could know as soon as possible whether I needed to be ordering a new replacement, or not.

On Friday, upon arriving in Hayward on the way to the lake, we stopped at Coop’s Pizza for lunch. I told Cyndie that a guy who looked like the man I talked to at the repair shop had just walked in with a family group. As we were driving out of the parking lot, Cyndie read the name of the repair shop out loud.

My initial reaction was to think, “They have a shop up here, too?!”

No, she was reading the information off the door of the guy’s company SUV in the parking lot. That was all the evidence I needed to tell me my sense of recognition was right on.

I sure hope he and their crew will resume repairing today, and that I might get a call with an estimate. It would help me greatly as I resume ranching duties, joining Cyndie when I get home from work.

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Written by johnwhays

May 30, 2017 at 6:00 am

Our Time

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Our cat, Pequenita, is an indoor cat. For the most part, I think she accepts the fact that she has to share her space with our dog, Delilah, but she does so with a perpetual hesitation. I’ve noticed that when Cyndie takes Delilah outside for a walk, Pequenita will often spring into action and take advantage of the unrivaled access to the main living spaces.

If I am in the kitchen, she will suddenly show up under foot, mewing her staccato chirps and walking loops to repeatedly do the little cat hop-and-rub maneuver.

Sometimes I will bend down or sit on the floor to honor her presence, giving her some extra attention in moments where she is free of the usual interference of the scene-stealing canine companion.

These precious minutes become our time. Interactions that only happen when we are alone together.

I didn’t intend to get tangled up in these secret little affairs with ‘Nita. These moments of intimacy came about because I got frustrated with her penchant for reaching up and burying her claws into my pant legs. When I don’t have on my canvas Carhartt jeans, it can be a scream.

Not being raised a cat guy, my first inclination was to ignore the overly independent presence of cats in our home, but she has decided that I’m her man. Ignoring her was never really an option.

To interrupt her before she gets around to the leg torture, I’ve taken to making the first move by invading her space. I figured it might work in a reverse-psychology sort of way and cause her to behave as though she wanted nothing to do with me.

It doesn’t work.

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She loves me. What can I say?

I’d feel a little like I was involved in an illicit affair that only happens behind Cyndie’s back, except that Pequenita almost always shows this much affection, and more, every night in our bed, right in front of Cyndie’s eyes.

All this attention is a far cry from the general disdain for cats I held over the first 3 decades of my life. I sure never saw this coming. It gets me to thinking, do I need to be careful about what could happen next? 

Chickens?

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Written by johnwhays

April 13, 2017 at 6:00 am

Modern Convenience

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It was sunny and 60-some degrees at our place yesterday. If it weren’t for the modern convenience of accurate weather forecasting giving us several days warning of an impending snowstorm, I would be completely clueless about what is headed our way. By Friday morning, the view of our property won’t look like this again for a while.

img_1941eI will not be surprised if the alignment of the storm moving in this evening brings us around a foot of snow, based on the models published by the weather services.

Such a significant contrast of weather in just over a day is something I would not be able to comprehend happening without the present day wisdom, and data gleaned from satellites and radar images. My intuitive senses for interpreting the weather are far too dull to perceive that the warm sunshine yesterday afternoon was so quickly going to become a distant memory.img_1925e

At the same time, it is still February, after all. It’s supposed to be wintery weather. So I am well prepared for whatever cold and blowing snow may arrive. I have my special leg warmer to keep me comfortable while chronicling the brutal challenges I face when plowing and shoveling the oodles of snowflakes inbound on our position.

Pequenita seems to like napping on my legs when I stretch out. It’s cute, but can’t be all that comfortable for her, and it tends to lock down my posture long enough that numbness sets in.

Maybe she is sensing the oncoming storm and wants to keep me safe and warm in preparation for doing battle when it comes time to dig out.

In the mean time, I hope to spend most of the day Friday in front of a warm fire, watching the flakes fly outside the windows.

See ya later, warm sunshine.

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Written by johnwhays

February 23, 2017 at 7:00 am

Shared Treats

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Cyndie and I have been on a bit of a movie binge lately, cramming to see movies and actors nominated (and winning) for this year’s awards season. During the week, squeezing in a movie after dinner tends to leave Delilah feeling a bit neglected by the end of a flick.

Sometimes, she takes it out on Pequenita, unloading oodles of pent-up energy on the poor little feline. Of course, in very cat-like behavior, ‘Nita doesn’t hesitate to bait the over-zealous dog into stirring up more trouble than she bargained for.

Even though the two house-pets are sole animal companions indoors, their interactions tend to give off a strong aura of faux friendship. Frenemies might be an appropriate description of their relationship.

img_ip1915eIt can appear to be cute when large Delilah prances over and tentatively sniffs at teeny ‘Nita. The stoic cat looks like she is giving great effort to tolerate the attention, especially when Delilah suddenly unleashes a quick tongue-drag across Pequenita’s back. I get a little grossed out when I offer the cat a scratch on her back and find it’s wet.

The two of them have one venture where they cooperate well with each other, putting their usual antics on hold for brief moments. They meet in the kitchen and bat their eyelashes at Cyndie until she gives in and offers up some kitty treats. They are Delilah’s favorite.

The exercise of shared cat treats started way back when we were first trying to acclimate dog and cat to each other. The first positions were spread far apart, but each subsequent treat was placed closer and closer until they eventually grew comfortable eating side by side.

Cyndie and I have seen 5 of the 9 movies nominated for this year’s Academy Awards Best Picture. I think Pequenita will be happy to have us soon complete the last 4 and get back to having the time to entertain Delilah for a few more hours each evening.

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Written by johnwhays

February 9, 2017 at 7:00 am

Holding Court

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When the weather outside returns to single-digit cold, there is added incentive to spend a little more time indoors. After work yesterday, I sat down and leaned the recliner back for a little relaxing review of the latest newsworthy offerings from a multitude of front pages on the internet. dscn5755ech

It didn’t take long for our furry friends to join me at that location. Cyndie captured the moment for posterity. I was holding court with our crew.

I read them some of the most outrageous blurbs, but they both ignored the content. Delilah just wanted more scratching, while Pequenita simply wished Delilah would go away.

I switched to telling them tales from this week’s commute to and from work. One morning I had the pleasure of moving in a group of vehicles stuck behind the dreaded slow ambulance with flashing lights.

It moseyed along at a speed about 5 miles an hour slower than the prevailing desired rate of travel. No one dared to pass him, because if you are in front of an emergency vehicle with it lights flashing, you are supposed to pull over and let it pass. Meanwhile, other cars ahead of the ambulance were noticing the lights and pulling over, subsequently becoming added vehicles to our ever-increasing pack.

It was odd to see this huge group of cars slowly “rushing” down the highway together toward their diverse destinations.

On the way home, on a section of divided 4-lane expressway, I spotted a car ahead of me that was having dramatic difficulty maintaining position in the right lane, both crossing the center line and moving off to the right shoulder. It was a little scary to witness. I wondered if it was alcohol related or a case of texting while driving.

I decided to get around the car by passing in the left lane. As I made my way cautiously past, I glanced over to assess the likely reason for the poor lane management. I can’t swear it wasn’t alcohol related, but the easy explanation and my first impression was that it was probably age-related.

The driver was a little old man who could barely see over the steering wheel. I am fairly certain he wasn’t doing any texting.

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Full disclosure: No animals were injured in the creation of this post.

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Written by johnwhays

February 3, 2017 at 7:00 am

Posted in Chronicle

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Look Up

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Some very interesting images can be found by looking straight up. A few days ago, I posted a shot looking up a concrete utility pole in Florida. Here is another version of the same pole, after walking around to the other side.

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They probably deserve to be shown as a pair. I like the contrast of the opposing direction of the light source between the two.

Meanwhile, I’m back at the day-job, digging out from a backlog of work that piled up while I was away. I was so exhausted when I walked in the door after work yesterday, I laid down for a minute. Pequenita immediately took advantage of my presence and pummeled me with kneading and head-butting in a quest for attention.

I think she missed me.

In a blink, I was no longer blinking. My eye lids stayed down and my brain checked out. It just so happened, my labor wasn’t immediately needed outside. For the first time since Cyndie’s knee surgery on the last day of November, she handled the outdoor ranch duties!

I think the chance to do some extended walking while we were in Florida, away from the icy, snowy terrain, boosted her confidence. Monday night she walked Delilah while I cleaned up manure and filled hay boxes. Yesterday, she did morning and evening chores, drove to a physical therapy appointment, did exercises there, and then went grocery shopping.

Talk about getting back into action. Of course, after dinner it was quickly time to get horizontal for the rest of the night and ice the knee. Fair enough.

It feels like I have come out of the tunnel. Things are definitely looking up.

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Written by johnwhays

January 25, 2017 at 7:00 am